Which Vintage CD Player To Use As A Transport?

I need a bargain CD player. Emphasis on bargain. One possibility is buying a cheap Schiit DAC and a vintage player to use as a transport. $100 or so for something described as “bulletproof.” Two questions:

—Is this a good idea?

—Which brand/model/year would be a good choice for a transport? 

Many thanks. 


Is Bulletproof and $100 mutually exclusive?


I had an old Sony DVD player that sound great as a transport, just could not believe that thing sounded as good as it did. but ultimately like all cheap players it died. Splurgitate and spend $350 on a used Cambridge Audio CXC and more than likely save $ in the long run.

Get one with a digital output so a better DAC can be added at some point. Denon has worked well for me, but all can benefit from new drive belts and lube

No, it is not a good idea, based on my experience. I switched from Arcam 192 being used as a transport some time ago and the difference versus Cambridge CXC was enormous, since than I climbed the ladder higher, but this is different story.

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Find an old Pioneer Elite and do anything you want with it. They sound great either way and are solid as they come. I have 2 PD65 and gave one to a dear friend years ago and they all still work flawlessly. Before my Marantz player, I used one as a transport into a Mac C50 and the platter was quiet as a mouse. It will be more than 100 bucks, but good god my brother, your front end is super important, and you get what you pay for. Save for a while and buy something in the $500 realm. It will be worth it. Or not. Enjoy the music either way.